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Discussion Starter #1
I posted when I first came here how we ended up with a CC lawn tractor to cut our grass. Well yesterday I took the blades off to sharpen after two seasons of use and 5 out of 6 of the upturned wings on the ends were completely gone and the sixth was split and almost off. Our lawn was maintained for years by our Gravely and most of the offensive rocks are gone or ground down and we don't hit much at all. Any thoughts as to why these failed like this. They look like they broke off and then break was worn smooth not rough like it was hitting rocks. All I can think of is very cheap steel.
 

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Were these Gator type blades? I'm assuming aftermarket blades at least, which probably will use inferior steel. That's why I always recommend using OEM blades and belts, especially for our JDs. JD and the other tractor manufacturers will only purchase the parts that meet their requirements and specs. JD probably has inspection and quality control in place to inspect their suppliers. I know we do at our company. With aftermarket companies, they won't spend that cost to insure quality.
 

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Is there a lot of sand where you mow?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
These were the original factory blades. No it is all grass with some small brush where you fight back mother nature. My wife cuts most of the grass and baby's it, I was very surprised to find this, I will try and take some pictures. I have to say this whole tractor is made cheaply but not inexpensively and I am not surprised so much as disappointed.
 

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We have a lot of fire ant mounds here and I have found when cutting the large field around my house if I drag the mounds down before cutting,my blades last a lots longer. I try to keep the ones sprayed close to the house. Its a never ending task. Seems they just move from one spot to another. I think I have tried every thing known to man to kill them. And have not had a lot of success.
 

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2 seasons isnt really bad. Keep in mind that the style of blade you use will determine its life span depending on conditions. For instance, a high lift blade with a lot of sweep on the trailing edge will wear very quickly in sandy condtions. A flatter blade will cut just as well and last longer. A blade like you described has a higher than normal lift, creates more suction and is meant to repeatedly chop the grass. And it swacks whatever else gets sucked up too. A deck that isnt set up correctly will also have an effect on blade life, gas consumption and cut quality. The deck not only needs to be level side to side but also needs to be about 1/4 inch lower in the front. this makes sure that the blade is cutting ONLY on the front side and runs free and clear in the rear of the deck.
Also keeping blades sharp is a biggie. Saves gas, no do overs. Cuts clean, no ragged edges to turn brown. And the sharp edge keeps a better air flow over the blade. A blunt unsharp edge on a high lift blade will cause the air, grass and dirt to stall at the trailing edge, causing more wear.
What height are you cutting at? Actual height, not indicated. Are you mulching, side discharging or bagging? I suspect with the wear you described, your blades are sucking up more dirt that you realize.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here is a picture of the blade cracked before the piece falls off. I would not call this normal wear and tear. View attachment 28647 And here is what the other five tips looked like, View attachment 28648 . I don't see why this would happen other than fatigued cheap steel
 

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Hard to tell from the pics, but it looks awfully thin at the break. Is that correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No there is no discernible wear at the break which is on an angle, the metal is still full thickness. After they broke the angle break looks much like the cutting side with a beveled edge.
 
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